Without robust, rapid economic growth, the prospects on employment and standards of living will remain gloomy in South Africa. Every sensible person understands, and should understand this. It is not rocket science and is widely acknowledged by both economics and politics gurus.
What these gurus tend to misunderstand though, is that without economic freedom, rapid economic growth and prosperity will be hard to achieve in the country.
With the launch of the Economic Freedom of the World 2021 (EFW) by the Free Market Foundation (FMF) and Canada’s Fraser Institute early this week, we were reminded of the importance of economic freedom in our society
By economic freedom, the Fraser Institute and FMF mean minimal government interventions in the economy. The metrics the Fraser Institute and FMF use to measure economic freedom in 165 countries are: size of the government, legal structure and property rights, access to sound money, freedom to trade internationally, regulation of credit, labour and business.
In this year’s EFW rankings, Hong Kong is at the top again. Hong Kong is a territory that economic freedom lovers around the globe cherish. Professor Milton Friedman, the Nobel economist who died in 2006 loved Hong Kong. He even featured it in his Public Broadcasting Services (PBS) television program Free to Choose, back in 1980.
Hong Kong is still a bastion of economic freedom to this day. Although, as the Fraser Institute notes, “China’s heavy hand will likely lower Hong Kong’s ranking in future years.”